Rain-fed crops in southern Africa will be severely impacted by climate change, causing yield reductions. Traditional African crops and hardier new varieties offer advantages over conventional maize varieties.

Global warming and associated changing rainfall patterns, rainfall reductions, and increasing dry spells and drought, will reduce soil moisture. This, along with rising temperatures and increased evapotranspiration, can result in crop water deficits at critical times in crop development, leading to declining yields. Crops will need 5% to 20% more water in a warming world, to maintain current yields. Where the most crops aren’t irrigated, food production will drop.

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